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UK - League Two
Lincoln are first top 4 tier club to reach 10 league wins

The Imp-ortance of set pieces

2018/10/17 16:02
By George Willoughby - Playmaker Club Specialist

Set piece specialists Lincoln City became the first club in England's top four leagues to reach 10 league wins with victory over Port Vale last Saturday.

Danny Cowley's men ran out 6-2 winners in what was a masterclass in scoring from set-pieces.

Throughout Lincoln's rise under the management duo of the Cowley's, scoring from set-plays has somewhat become synonymous to their success. In the early stages of this campaign, City haven't looked as dangerous from dead ball situations as in previous seasons.

Maybe this is due to the usual set-piece taker Sam Habergham being unfortunately side-lined, but the work on the training ground paid off in a big way at the weekend.

Deadly delivery

There is so much more to a successful set-play than just hoping someone gets on the end of it. Of course, the delivery itself is the ultimate determinant, but the movement and also the blocking in the penalty in the area play a huge part.

We have seen this on the world stage with England in Russia most notably taking inspiration from the Cowley's 'bus' or 'stack' routine. The space created is very effective, and this is exactly what we saw at Vale Park just a few days ago. Massive credit goes to Matt Rhead in particular who was one of the main reasons we had success on Saturday as he was unselfishly blocking for others to get open.

Most of our goals against The Valiants were practically free headers or volleys with the Port Vale defenders defenceless against the balls into the box.



Secret to success

Going back to our National League winning season, the subsequent goals from Luke Waterfall and Sean Raggett were an integral part of our promotion. To get 10+ goals from your centre-halves will give any team a significant advantage as it showcases the difficult ability to find goals from unlikely sources.

We also saw this last season with late goals from corners in both the away matches against Stevenage and Swindon. I am sure they're others, but these two winners spring to mind.

We have already seen it this season as well. Jason Shackell scored in consecutive matches from set-pieces and if it wasn't for his goals, then we certainly wouldn't be sitting on a four- point lead at the top of the table.

You can argue that in recent years set-pieces have lost their significance which is surprising given how lucrative they can be. It's a fantastic opportunity to score and I am fully expecting Lincoln to continue to win games because of it.

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